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R Hon Bill English: Bring the remains of the 29 Pike River men home, if humanly possible

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R Hon Bill English: Bring the remains of the 29 Pike River men home, if humanly possible
  
  

 


Why this is important

Tragedy at Pike River Mine, New Zealand: Retrieve
the bodies of the 29 men

Dear R.Hon. Bill English,

First, congratulations on your recent appointment as the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Many Kiwis will now be pinning their hopes on you as a leader who leads with compassion and care for the people, whether rich or less so, in the big cities, on farms or in remote places.

This is to ask you to start your leadership with a gesture that has the potential to go down in history. The people in the remote town of Greymouth need your help, and all citizens in NZ need to recover the hope that networks of vested interests and power politics do not rule their lives in their most personal details.

You know of course that 29 people died subsequent to the mining tragedy of 19 November 2010. One of them was a 16 years old boy, on his first day at work. For six years, their families have been requesting Solid Energy and the NZ Government, who owns the company, to return the bodies of their loved ones to them. (While still a PM, John Key had promised this would happen.) But neither Solid Energy nor the Government have relented: it is risky to enter the mine they said. However, the Pike River families have heard from independent experts who say that it is safe to enter the area known as the drift, where they believe many of the men may lie.

To offer these families closure is a humanitarian gesture that should be undertaken if it is humanly possible to do so. It would be unjust to deprive them of their last chance at closure with their dear ones. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

We are appealing to you as a family man and a father: you know how hard it is to lose dear ones. It is even harder when performing the last rites is denied the bereft families. Show that you care for Kiwis. Stop Solid Energy sealing the mines. Bring the remains of the 29 men home, if humanly possible.

Thank you for reading this.

With gratitude,
Alexandra E. Dumitrescu
MA, GradDip Tchng, PhD (Otago)
Member, Support the Families at the Pike River Group




Posted December 10, 2016
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